The Importance of the right Mentor

2023 has been an unbelievable year.

When people ask me how I am doing, my usual response is, “Unbelievable.” I learned during my first Tom Hopkins boot camp that if you answer that question in that manner, you will always be telling the truth. Your day can be unbelievably great or unbelievably bad. It’s all about perspective.

Stepping out into the small business or entrepreneurial world brings new daily opportunities and challenges. Cashflow, sales, marketing, innovation, relationships, and/or payroll brings opportunity and/or challenges; it’s all about the perspective you take.

Some of you may know that I retired from my corporate position last summer. I had a five-year plan, which I shared with my Senior Vice President, Gene, in 2018. I fulfilled that plan on February 28, 2023. In August, I made the move. I love the people and clients I had the privilege to work with and for at Oracle. But it was time to fulfill the next ten year goal.

When I was in San Diego to swim the Honor Foundation swim in September, I did my first live podcast with a partner, c3 Risk and Insurance Services. After I was offstage, I was speaking with one of the attendees, and she asked me a question.

She asked me how I made the decision to leave the security of a great corporate position to take the risk of being an entrepreneur.

It was the first time I had been asked that question. I told her that for many years, I would take the low-risk approach to have whatever certainty I would have in a corporate position. I had a wife whose primary need was certainty, and I had four children to get through school. I was like many people who acquiesced to security over the mission.

As I was writing my book From Turmoil to Triumph ( FT2T), I looked through all the journals I had written since 1989 and some from my mentors. I found some of the dreams, goals, and things I had written down, and I was not being congruent with them. I rationalized that life changes, so sometimes you have to put your dreams and goals on the back burner.

But as I was writing the last chapter of FT2T, I found something I wrote in 1997 that hit me like a brick. It was something I learned in 1997 then saw again recently .

” What you think is what you say, what you say is what you do, what you do will become your legacy.”

So when I had that discussion with Gene about my five-year plan for Oracle, that was always in the back of my mind. If I was truly going to fulfill my mission, I had to be congruent and go all in on my mission, as risky as some would think it would be, I knew I wasn’t the first person to make this choice and if I followed what I had learned, the dream and the mission would be realized.

I told her I have seen the power and benefit of having coaches and mentors and that I invest heavily into that strategy. What I have learned about the power of having a mentor isiIt’s not about the answers mentors and coaches give you;

what’s more important is that you learn how they think. The power is learning how to think in a different way because

” What you think is what you say, what you say is what you do, what you do will become your legacy.”

She asked me HOW I learned how my mentors and coaches think.

That is a great question. I presume there are many ways you can learn how people or mentors think. But the strategy I learned and served me is

You model their thinking and actions, then mimic what they say and do, and then you will begin to master how they think and act. But it’s the next step is what becomes your legacy

You then multiply what you have modeled, mimicked, and mastered to the next generation. And that becomes your legacy. And that is my mission. I am looking for people who have a desire to learn, excel and leave a legacy.

I had the certainty to retire from my corporate position, which I was doing well at because I had learned the secret sauce from my mentors on how to leave my legacy because they modeled, mimicked, and mastered it with me, which was their legacy.

The next day, I was speaking for the Assurex event in San Diego and for the first time, I ended my talk sharing a little of this experience and implored the audience to find a mentor and be a mentor as that will be their legacy. The last thing I said before I exited the stage was

Don’t let it die with you,” what I was told in May 1997.

As you go into 2024, make audacious goals. Write them down. Post them all around your house and office and find a mentor and/or coach who will not only help you compress the decades it takes into days but show you how to THINK so you will say it, then do it and after you do it, your legacy will be cemented.

Remember that there is always opportunity out of whatever uncertainty you have which will lead you to

Create your own flight plan for your future!

If I can help you find the right mentor, please message me at davesandersonspeaks.com.